Victorious in three consecutive stakes races, Rafael Hernandez was voted Jockeys’ Guild Foundation Detox Jockey of the Week for Aug 10th-16th. The award is voted on by a panel of experts for riding accomplishments by members of the Jockeys’ Guild, the organization which represents more than 950 riders in North America.
In an afternoon featuring five stakes with quality fields at the famed Woodbine Racecourse in Toronto, Ontario, Canada the meets leading rider Rafael Hernandez had the honor of guiding Canada’s reigning three-time Champion Male Sprinter Pink Lloyd to his 23rd stakes victory, capturing the $125,000 Bold Venture Stakes (Gr. 3) while also winning the following $150,000 Plate Trial Stakes and the $175,000 King Edward Stakes (Gr. 2).
Obtaining the riding assignment this year aboard the multiple Sovereign Award winner Pink Lloyd and looking for their third consecutive stakes victory, the newly acquainted duo entered the starting gate as the favorite in the Bold Venture, a 6 ½ half furlong sprint on the all-weather surface. In a race that had eluded the eight-year-old gelded son of Old Forester in two previous attempts, the veteran journeyman positioned the 22 time stakes winner just off the pacesetters, saving ground rounding the turn and squeezing through to split the leaders with an eighth to go. Drawing clear and holding off a challenger, it was Hernandez and the Sprint Champion continuing their winning streak for conditioner Robert Tiller.
Returning in the next, the Plate Trial Stakes, Hernandez had the leg up on Clayton as the favorite in the 1 ⅛ mile prep for the $1 Million Queen’s Plate, the first leg of the OLG Canadian Triple Crown. The rider coaxed the three-year-old Bodemeister colt into settling down after being ranked for the first 3/16ths, stalking the leaders before pouncing turning for home, and gaining a narrow advantage to prevail under a drive for trainer Kevin Attard.
Going for his third consecutive stakes victory of the day in the one-mile King Edward Stakes, the polished rider was aboard the 2018 Toronto Cup winner March to the Arch. The five-year-old gelded son of Arch was rated off the pace, riding the rail before being called upon and angling out, rallying, and driving clear for trainer Mark Casse.
Winning three of the five stakes on the card, Hernandez was the Nation’s leading rider by total stakes wins while also finishing second aboard Etoile in the Dance Smartly Stakes (Gr. 2) and third in the Woodbine Oaks aboard Marveilleux.
The rider maintained a 19% win percentage and was in the money on 58% of his mounts. With six wins, three seconds, one third and one fourth place finish his earnings totaled $446,457.
Hernandez has won 72 of 348 starts this year and 2,647 of 13,486 career mounts. In 2020, his mounts have earned $2,467,551 and his lifetime earnings exceed $45 million.
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